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We support your Local Corrections Presidents because they support you

Warren (Smokey) Thomas


The second wave is now upon us, and it’s shaping up to be even more dangerous and deadly than the first.  But every day, you head back onto the front lines because you’ve got an important job to do.  And on behalf of OPSEU’s entire Executive Board, I’d like to thank you for that – you’re putting yourself in harm’s way to keep everybody in your community safe and secure. 

Please stay tuned for a series of remote engagement and question-and-answer sessions that we’ll be holding soon for your institution or region. We want to hear what you’re thinking, and what we can do to help you do your work better and more safely. 

I’d also like to send a word of appreciation of Local Corrections Presidents.  Not only are they putting in a full day’s work, they’re also volunteering hours upon hours of their off-duty time to make your working conditions better and safer. 

Before the pandemic, and definitely during, they have been focused on keeping you and your co-workers united, an undivided force demanding that your managers do everything they can to prevent outbreaks and keep you safe. It’s been working: Ontario can boast the safest jails in the country.  And once the pandemic has past, they will continue to keep you united in preparation for your next round of Corrections-only bargaining. 

OPSEU fully supports Local Presidents in Corrections, because they are doing so much to support you. Every day, they put your interests, and the community’s interest, before their own. 

If only CSN would do the same.  Unfortunately, CSN chooses to do the opposite.  At a time when it’s never been more important for Corrections to stay united, CSN is seeking to divide. At a time when it’s never been more important to support union leaders, CSN is slandering union leaders, and those members who support OPSEU, on social media. This speaks to their credibility. 

And at a time when it’s never been more important to heed the warnings from public health officials about public gatherings – Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer is urging everybody to avoid exposure to hot spots and refrain from social circles.  The Government is asking people to avoid close contact with those outside their own household – yet CSN is travelling from institution to institution, hosting gatherings that not only put your health at risk, but the health of everybody in your family and your community.  This proves their desperation. 

CSN claims to have your back. But it’s really just trying to get at the wallet in your back pocket. Losing members and losing money, CSN is risking everything, including your health and safety, just to get your dues. 

If you want real support, don’t turn to them. Turn instead to the people who have proven day after day, year after year, that they have your best interest at heart: your Local President. 

We have your presidents’ back, because they have yours. 

Now. Then. Always. 

In solidarity, Warren (Smokey) Thomas
OPSEU President